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Is the suggestion even slightly viable constitutionally?

Won't it depend on how individual signatories have wrapped the EU constitution inside their own local constitutions?

Anyway - at this point I'm sad to say that I'm pleased the UK didn't join the Euro. We have plenty of hair shirt issues of our own, but not even George 'Psycho' Osborne is pushing a return to pre-Keynesian fiscal insanity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 06:52:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the suggestion even slightly viable constitutionally?

Assuming that your constitution contains provisions for amending said constitution, yes.

What makes this proposal so very, very scary is that they're talking about bullying and browbeating The Serious People of every EMU member into amending their own country's constitution with a death pact clause.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 07:02:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm. If unanimity of consent is required, I don't think there's any chance at all of that plan working.

This looks to me more like electioneering by Merkozy, and perhaps a bit of a trial balloon.

I have my doubts they really believe they can make it stick when there are so many Eurozone countries with serious anti-EU sentiment.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 07:06:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see why unanimity should be required. They can corrupt the EMU members one by one.

Germany already has this cyanide pill in its constitution. If Merkozy can browbeat the PS into acceding to a French version, then together they have a viable power bloc. Remember, they're going to be bullying individual member states, not impose new EU policies, so resistance by a single member will not in itself suffice to prevent this abomination from going ahead everywhere else. And given the total absence of any viable opposition anywhere...

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 07:12:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And "the Markets" and the ECB can always do their tried and tested one-two routine culminating with an ECB threat to crash the national banking system of the member state in question.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 07:13:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They can't corrupt the EMU members one by one because it will take too long - Sarko may not be around next year - and there are local constitutional issues which would mean that unwilling participants can always stall and say 'I'll get back to you'.

Then they can wait until Sarkozy gets his pack of directorships. And by then, Merkel may be too busy dealing with a German economic pancake landing to find the time.

It still looks more like a negotiating position to me. It's not impossible they can make it stick, but it's really not going to be easy. And neither of them seems like the kind of pol who has the relentless determination it's going to need.

Don't forget Sarko is the runty little prince of press release politics - big on the big scheme announcements, reliably useless on the practical follow-through.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 08:30:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Germans in recent past have run federal deficits. What are they actually saying in this proposal?
by asdf on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 03:25:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are saying rules used to apply to everyone except France and Germany, but no longer.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 04:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Particularly when they are not even putting eurobonds on the table as a "carrot" - just a six-monthly council chaired by Hermann van Rompuy...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 08:08:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:

Assuming that your constitution contains provisions for amending said constitution, yes.

But that could take a while. I do not know about other constitutions, but Swedens's could not be changed earlier then to christmas 2014.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 07:52:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Changing the Danish constitution requires a majority in Parliament (or perhaps a 2/3 supermajority, I don't recall precisely); followed by a ratification in a referendum by a 2/3 supermajority of the cast votes, with 40 % of the eligible votes being quorum; followed by a ratification by a new parliament.

So it takes at least one general election and one referendum. Hypothetically, you could do the whole thing in the space of two months... but that's only if you have a "national consensus" type situation.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 08:01:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't need a general election to assemble a supermajority in parliament.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 09:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but you do need a general election to get a new parliament, which is a constitutional requirement. For precisely that reason.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 10:44:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I missed the followed by a ratification by a new parliament bit at the end.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 10:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Sweden it is majority of parliament, election, then majority of parliament. If a motion to hold a referendum is presented in the first parliament it takes 2/3 in the first parliament to stop it or a referendum with veto-powers (only a no is binding) would be held at the same time as the election.

In real terms the election of 2014 is the shortest time, but theoretically I guess an extraordinary election would do in Sweden (I am not certain). If an extraordinary election does the trick, then an election can be called three months after the decision, but it still has to pass nine months between the decisions, unless you can muster 5/6 of the first parliament to say otherwise. So with 5/6 in the first parliament and majority in the second, the constitution can be changed in 3 months. Probably.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 02:50:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But Sweden is not in the Euro, so: pannkaka!

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 17th, 2011 at 04:45:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But a signatory to the EMU. Just constantly failing to qualify for the eurozone (to volatile currency).

Which is irrelevant if you go country by country, then of course only the eurozone members is needed.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 18th, 2011 at 06:54:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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